May 2013
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Enjoying Senior Capstones

One of the fun things about being friends with mostly seniors is I get to go to their Senior Capstone presentations. Senior Capstone is the final step you take in your major. It takes something that you have been studying for a year or a semester and turns it into a project that reflects everything you have learned in the last four years. It is the biggest project an undergraduate student is expected to do. Some departments will recommend beginning the project in your junior year, others only take a semester, it all depends. Every department is different.

The Biology department is similar to many of the other sciences because they do poster presentations. Since you can’t exactly recreate every lab experiment, each senior puts together a larger poster of their project and is expected to be able to explain the project to anyone that is interested in it. The Cinema seniors were required to make a video which they showed all in one night, almost like a short film festival. It was so cool to see so many people I know in a movie. The Theatre department does a hands on experiment for their senior project. The task in the production will go along with the student’s focus whether it is on stage, back stage, or theatre management. The English department does twenty minute presentations on whatever paper they decided to write. Whether it is a comparison of novels, a full memoir or creative writing piece, or a rhetorical analysis, the presentation gives a full summary of the research that student has done on a particular topic. Many departments are like the History department, where they have to do in front of all the professors in that department and defend the argument their paper makes. It can be a scary experience  but can also be very rewarding.

Many of these senior papers and capstone projects will be chosen to be presented at conferences in the various fields. They also give graduates a perfect topic of conversation when interviewing for a job that is up the same alley as their capstone project. All the stress, reading, writing, and research pays off in the end for every senior. The relief when the final draft is handed in, and the excitement when the grade is posted and the senior can officially graduate all happen at this point in the semester. Seeing everyone else’s projects got me very excited for mine. I can’t wait to start my research. But that may be because my research begins in Walt Disney World. What better place to work on a senior capstone?

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